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Organizing your life

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by GM Enthusiast, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. GM Enthusiast

    GM Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    I can be one of the most disorganized people ever at times. I know I manage my time poorly, and I'm always forgetting things that I'm supposed to have done, bought, paid, etc.

    So I'm wondering, what steps do you take, what items do you use (high tech, low tech, etc) to keep your time planned and make sure you do the things that you need to do? I'm wondering about specifics too. For example, do you use a simple organizer/calendar, or PC software, or a PDA, etc. Also, what do you do to keep your finances (transactions, bills to be paid, etc) organized? Since that is probably the most important problem area I have right now.

    Years ago when the 2nd generation Palms just barely came out I got one of the cheap 2mb deals. I used it for a short period of time, but eventually it turned into more of a toy for me. I am now considering a Treo 650, since it is a combo of cell phone, which I always carry with me anyway, and a PDA. I figure it might help, but then knowing my track record, who knows. It can also be fairly difficult because I have tasks, projects, email, documentation, etc. from my employer to keep up with, as well as the same for my own business. Ideally I need to keep them somewhat separate, but accessible in the same way, or the same place. Are there any high tech solutions that you find useful, especially on a daily basis, to keep yourself organized?

    I know in the end I will need my own solution, but I am still wondering what everyone else does to effectively manage their life.
     
  2. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    I tend to use my e-mail program to organize a lot of things. For instance, I have a folder in my e-mail called recipes and I keep them there. Ditto for motivational quotes. It's easier than doing it in document form because you get the instant preview right below the message name.

    If I have something I need to remember, I quite often e-mail myself about it, or compose an e-mail and store it in drafts.

    I was using My Yahoo a while back. It has a very well laid out calendar that you can set up to e-mail yourself or other people about upcoming events. For instance, I put in all my relatives birthdays, and set the program to e-mail me 14 days before and 2 days before each one.

    My husband does the finances, but I'd sort of like to take it over from him. On the other hand, it's a lot to keep track of, so maybe I'm better off letting it be.

    I'm having problems right now because we just recently moved, and it seems we have set up FIVE junk drawers, a junk cupboard, and pretty much a whole junk pantry, all in the kitchen. I'm going to have to clear them out when my cookware arrives. We do have an accordian file system somewhere, and a couple of filing cabinets, but I've lost track of which country we left them in.
     
  3. slush_puppy

    slush_puppy Well-Known Member

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    My wife got a Treo 650 this last Christmas (it was THE ONLY thing she asked for) and she swears that the sun will not rise without it. My wife is already an organizational wiz without it, though. I doubt that the Treo 650 would make you any more organized if that original spark wasn't there for you.

    I, on the other hand, have no organizational skills or tendencies. I have that same clunky Palm 105, which is really just a glorified rolodex. I'd be in trouble without it, though, that's for sure.
     
  4. Andrew M

    Andrew M Well-Known Member

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    1 A fairly old-tech solution, but I have an in-tray and an out tray in our study. Anything that needs doing goes into the in-tray, bills for posting etc. go in the out-tray.
    2 I try to have as many bills as possible paid by direct-debit, so that they generate less for me to do.
    3 A filing cabinet is a Godsend, especially when tax-returns, CVs, research, P45/60s need keeping.
    4 I have a separate work diary. (Hardcopy)
    5 I have a separate gym diary. (Hardcopy)
    6 I maintain (poorly) a diary thread here.

    Andrew.
     
  5. never2old

    never2old Well-Known Member

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    I misplace things easily if I don't designate a place for each thing. For example, I use a special drawer for all the things that I can't leave behind every day when I leave the house for work. Wallet, pen, glasses, watch, security badge, car keys... When I do forget to put those things in that drawer, it actually gets easier to remember how, why and where I put them somewhere "out-of-place." So I find them faster and suffer less anxiety while searching. It gets easier to see "what's wrong with this picture" when one of the go-to-work necessaries' group is missing from that drawer. Good luck GM Enthusiast! :tu: -Martin
     
  6. rubberbandman

    rubberbandman Well-Known Member

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    I have a 49 cent notebook that everything goes into. That is all. everything else piles up on my desk...

    I should really work on my organizing skills. oh well, I do know where anything I want to find can be found in my pile of mess. Unless my girlfriend "cleans up" and then I am screwed for weeks!
     
  7. never2old

    never2old Well-Known Member

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    OK, today's confession - but still, "Do as I say, not as I do." :lol:

    Yesterday I left a jacket in a conference facility that I hadn't visited for months. The early morning temperatures were cool enough for the jacket. But by the time I left my office for the facility, weather had warmed considerably. I had put on the jacket when leaving my office. I was thinking I would still need to wear it, plus I was trying to remember to bring it home with me, since I was going to leave from home directly from the conference. So I was sweating with my jacket on, as I pulled into the parking lot. I couldn't wait to get into the building and strip off that jacket and hang it on my chair. I left for home without the jacket. I hope I can go back there and re-claim it from a lost-and-found...I shoulda stripped it off in the parking lot! :o
     
  8. Ken In Canada

    Ken In Canada Well-Known Member

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    I should write a book....na, wait. No time.

    I should write a pamplet on organizing time.

    Balls I currently juggle:

    <crude humour snipped>
    AM cardio/PM weights
    4 kids
    Work
    making lunches for kids/wife/self
    getting kids dressed for school
    driving to daycare/school
    4 kids
    remembering to eat pre-made meals at work
    picking up wife/kids
    making supper
    4 kids
    clean dishes
    do laundry
    tidy house
    hockey practice/gymnastics

    There's so much more to a typical day...but we resolve to get as much housework done by 9:30 so we can get a decent night's sleep (for whichever of us does not get up with the baby that week) while making sure all homework is done and kids are fed and bathed.

    We have a daily menu we follow for meals, and days we shop for groceries. We have the same budget that we stick to, so we don't scramble for money (and keep a little aside for emergencies). I do dishes and cook, while Susan tends to laundry and keeps the house clean.

    This combination tends to minimize the "I THOUGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT" arguments.

    It's not much different than my original transformation plan. Just write out a routine that works and follow it on paper. After a while it will BE your routine and you won't need to track it - giving you that much more time to play with.

    Ken
     

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